A great start on Frozen Thunder

– Simi Hamilton and his U.S. national team teammates complete their first lap on Frozen Thunder – 

It’s miraculous and it’s here! Skiers from all over North America came out for their first taste of skiable snow on the incredible Frozen Thunder at the Canmore Nordic Centre today.

Who wouldn't be smiling on the first day of skiing?

Who wouldn’t be smiling on the first day of skiing?

Most skiers were skating, but there was a surprisingly good classic track for the few of us who were using it. I had near perfect grip on my zero skis(also known as “hairys”). The traditional waxless(fish-scale) skis would have worked okay too. As would the dreaded klister.

All the parking spots were full at the CNC parking lot when I pulled in this morning at 9:30. I won’t attribute all of those vehicles to Frozen Thunder, as a ski sale was also happening, but there was a good contingent of skiers out for their first day on snow. Air temperature was +4°C.

Skiers have 2.2K of trails

Skiers have 2.2K of trails

I talked to Chris Grover, the U.S. national team’s men’s coach, and he was thrilled with the conditions. I’d have to agree. When you take into account that it’s mid-October and we’re still reaching daily high temperatures in the teens, the snow was in pretty nice shape.

Alberta premier Alison Redford was in attendance

Alberta premier Alison Redford was in attendance

Alberta premier Alison Redford even made an appearance, as she handed over a cheque to the IPC world cup committee. Their event will be held at the CNC from Dec 6 – 18. Read more International Paralympic Committee World Cup.

The design of the course allows for a lot of variety. The total distance is 2.2K, but you can mix ‘n match any number of loops and one-way trails.

A big improvement this year is the access point. There’s a wooden bridge over the muddy part, so you can keep your boots clean. It will also avoid tracking mud onto the snow. As I hoped, there was lots of fencing installed to hang the coats and toques which usually come off after one lap.

Here’s a video courtesy of Tony Smith:

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  1. Looks fun and exciting! Someone needs to get that Alison Redford on some skis!

    She’d be a good skier considering the slippery slopes she’s successfully negotiated in her political career. -Bob

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